A Tribute to the Royal Wedding

Yesterday Nicole and her friends had a little party to celebrate the Royal Wedding between Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton. Home alone and with nothing to do, I decided to crack open a bottle wine and watch the wedding myself. It was a fantastic wedding, the girls looked great, and I give my best wishes to the now Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Rather than give a blow by blow recital of the Royal Wedding I thought I should write my own wedding short story, a love story about two people destined for each other, no matter what. Enjoy.

***

“If anyone can show just cause why this couple should not lawfully be married speak now or forever hold your peace”

Silence.

Jane started to fidget uneasily. She could feel it, something was wrong.

It’s the silence. There’s too much silence.

“Are you sure you’re ok Jane?” her fiancé whispered. “We can always call it off.”

“Dont be daft!” she hissed, a tone that had become very familiar during these past few months. “It’s the silence. Can’t you feel it.”

“They’re supposed to be silent sweetheart. Who would object to you marrying someone as handsome as myself?”

Silence.

Jane knelt to the ground, her hand reaching under her dress.

“It’s just a precaution.” she murmured quietly, feeling for the dagger secured at her thigh. “Just a precaution.”

A flurry of shadows caught the corner of her eye, drawing her attention to the front door. They moved fast but their shapes were unmistakeable.

Goblins.

Couldn’t she just have one day? A single day to celebrate life with the man she loves?

A piercing crack broke the silence and the front door exploded off its hinges, showering the guests with large splinters of wood. Panicked cries filled the room as four goblins stormed into the church, their hefty axes slashing at the fleeing crowd.

In an instant Jane was on her feet, striding down the aisle with the dagger in hand. Her eyes burned with a unique fire, an intense fury mixed with a lust for killing.

“You will not ruin my wedding day!” she shouted, venom coursing through her veins.

With an effortless motion Jane drew her arm across the air, her blade tearing through the throat of the nearest goblin with deadly precision. She smiled. It felt good to end the life of something so evil. The second goblin went down just as easy, its bright orange blood staining her bone white dress as it squirted from an arterial wound.

And how am I supposed to get that out? Can you even get blood out of a satin dress?

She was quickly brought back to reality as the next goblin launched a ferocious attack, the edge of its axe slicing through her veil. The dress was weighing her down, restricting her movements. This would not be easy.

She flinched as a flash of steel flew over her shoulder, the knife slamming into the left eye of her attacker. She smiled again.

I truly do love that man.

The church was almost empty now, the bodies of three goblins lying in a pool of blood at her feet.

Only three?

She quickly turned to see her fiancé grabbed from behind, the edge of an axe pressed against his throat.

“A little help, sweetheart?”

There was not enough of the goblin showing to make the shot, surely she could find something useful in this damned church.

The chandelier!

She measured the distance. It would be an easy throw, even with an unbalanced dagger. She drew her arm back, taking aim at the thin rope that held the chandelier.

The axe dropped and the goblin fell to the altar, the hilt of a knife protruding from between its shoulder blades.

“Nobody ruins one of my ceremonies. Not in my church.”

Jane watched in stunned silence as the reverend retrieved his knife, wiping the blade before depositing it inside his robe. She dropped her dagger and ran to her fiancé, pulling him into a tight embrace. A few curious guests entered the church, beckoning for the rest to come as they returned to their seats.

“The ceremony isn’t ruined Father, we were just having a small intermission.”

***

“You may kiss your bride.”

Cheers erupted from the crowd as the couple embraced, sharing their first kiss over the carcass of a dead goblin.

“I love you so much, my husband.” she whispered, still amazed that she could finally call this wonderful man her husband. “This day could not be any better.”

A flurry of shadows caught the corner of her eye, drawing her attention to the front door. A young man burst into the church, his voice stuttering as he tried to gather his breath.

“Goblins my lord… a whole fist of ’em… three miles south…”

“Well thats more like it,” her husband said with a big grin on his face. “What? I was a feeling a little hurt they only sent four goblins. But a whole fist? Well that’s a much better wedding present.”

Paying Homage – ANZAC Day and Paul

Yesteday was ANZAC Day, a remarkable day forever etched into the psyche of every Australian and New Zealander, a day to remember the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom and the values we believe in. Nicole and I attended the dawn service at Nobby’s beach in Newcastle and it was one of the more powerful and moving services I have attended in recent years. The waves were crashing, the rain was falling, and the sounds of mortar shells and gunfire could be heard through the speakers whilst the narrator gave everyone a quick history of the Gallipoli campaign.

For those who don’t know, on the 25th of April 1915 the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed at Gallipoli, a heavily fortified Turkish beach that was halting the progress of the Allied Navies into the Black Sea (http://www.anzacsite.gov.au/). While historians continue to debate about whether or not the ANZAC forces landed at the right coordinates, what we do know is that the ANZAC forces were faced with a heavily fortified enemy located at the top of steep and rugged terrain. In what was clearly an “unwinnable” battle, the ANZAC forces continued to charge the Turkish fortifications for eight months, at which point the casualties became too high and the Allied forces were withdrawn. During this time over 44,000 Allied soliders (8,709  from Australia and 2,712 from New Zealand) and over 86,000 Ottoman Empire soliders were killed.

Australia had only been a sovereign nation for 13 years when the ANZAC forces landed at Gallipoli. The courage and valour displayed by these men against overwhelming odds had a profound impact on the people of Australia and New Zealand, shaping the way we looked at ourselves as nations and becoming an integral part of our identities.  Every year before dawn on the 25th of April we remember the sacrifices made by all brave soldiers who fight for Australia and New Zealand. We have many traditions that we recite during the dawn service, but the reading of the fourth stanza from the poem For The Fallen has had the most profound impact on my life:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old,
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Tradition usually dictates a trip to the local RSL for a few beers and a game of Two-Up, but recently these events have been overtaken by small proportion intoxicated teenagers using this day as an excuse to get completely legless. Instead, Nicole and I decided to visit a few sites around Newcastle before going to see a movie.

We ended up seeing Paul the latest movie from Nick Frost and Simon Pegg that pays homage to some of the greatest sci-fi films of all time. Frost and Pegg play two sci-fi geeks on their way to the US to attend Comic-Con and take a tour of the “UFO Belt”. During this tour they meet Paul (voiced by Seth Rogen), an alien who has just escaped from Area 51 in an attempt to get back home. As is standard fare for a Frost/Pegg movie, hilarity ensues.

The movie is packed with both subtle and overt references to almost everything geeky and nerdy, from the FBI agent named Lorenzo Zoil to the Mos Eisley Cantina music playing in the one of the pubs. Frost and Pegg fill the movie with plenty of wit, while Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig provide all the slapstick and and toilet humour, creating a well balanced mix of humour that keeps you laughing from start to finish. For pure entertainment value, Paul is heading straight to #1 on my list of Best Movies of 2011.

I’m pretty sure that nearly everyone around the world had a public holiday yesterday so how did you spend your day? For those Australians and New Zealanders that attended a dawn service, where was it and what was it like? For those who have seen Paul, do you think it is a worth addition to Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz?